Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and it refers to inflammation of the gums. While it’s not a dangerous problem, it can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss if left untreated. Here’s how to tell if you have it and what you can do to protect yourself, including seeing a dentist.
What Are the Main Signs of Gingivitis?
If your gums frequently bleed when you brush or floss, you could have gingivitis. When tartar and plaque sit on your teeth, the gums will swell up and become red and tender. This, in turn, will cause bleeding when you clean your smile.
If plaque builds up on the tongue and isn’t removed regularly, you’ll notice halitosis or bad breath, an early sign of gingivitis. Finally, if gingivitis progresses, you can expect tooth sensitivity, pain, and receding gums.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Smoking is a primary risk factor, and it’s a common habit among people who get gingivitis. Additionally, medications that reduce saliva flow can lead to gum disease, as the plaque won’t get cleaned away. Finally, a lack of vitamin D, as well as a family history of gum disease, are common risk factors.
How Is Gingivitis Treated?
Luckily, if you catch gingivitis early, you can prevent it from progressing. First, head to the dentist for a cleaning; they’ll remove the tartar. The staff may also recommend more frequent appointments to keep bacteria and plaque at bay.
Next, they’ll inspect your mouth for broken or damaged teeth. Dental issues, such as poorly fitting bridges or crooked teeth, can make it harder to remove plaque and irritate the gums, leading to gingivitis. Fixing these problems will help prevent gum disease in the future.
Finally, you’ll need to take good care of your smile at home. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day for two minutes at a time. Floss at least once a day, as well.
If you suspect that you have gingivitis, contact Dental Arts. Serving Suffolk and Nassau counties, they’ve been helping Long Island residents with their oral care needs since 2012. They offer regular cleanings, as well as cavity fillings and other solutions to remove plaque and fix damaged teeth. Their staff members provide a comfortable environment and always put patients first. Call (631) 591-9200 to schedule an appointment with a dentist, or visit their website to learn more about their services.